These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things…

Now that we are almost halfway through our first year here, I think we both have a much better idea of what Korean foods we do and don’t like than when we first arrived and posted about Korean food. So, I think it’s time for an update!

Andrea’s favorites:

Rabokki

I mentioned this in my first food post, but it is still one of my favorites! It’s glutinous rice cakes, ramen noodles, fishcake, cabbage and usually a hard boiled egg in a spicy red sauce. It’s sold at Gimbap restaurants (Korean sushi) or at street food stands. Plus, it’s usually only about 3,000 won!

korean food: rabokki

Rabokki

Dakdoritang

This is a spicy soup that has chicken, potatoes, cabbage or other vegetables (in this picture, leeks) and sometimes rice cakes. When I say spicy I really mean it…it’s like fire in your mouth. Delicious fire. The first time I had this, I had a little bit of a hard time getting over the fact that all the chicken bones are in the soup, and usually the feet and neck too…but I’m slowly getting over all my aversions, and now I just avoid those parts when dishing up! Restaurants that serve this would usually be chicken-only places, or they might serve only this and a handful of other dishes.

korean food: Dakdoritang

Dakdoritang

Matt’s favorites:

Dolsot bibimbop

This is essentially a bowl of rice, veggies, a raw egg and sauce (sometimes meat) that you mix together yourself. What makes this kind (dolsot) extra delicious is that it is served in a piping hot cast iron bowl, which then cooks the egg and makes the rice crunchy. You can get this dish at lots of restaurants, but most commonly at the Gimbap (Korean sushi) places.

korean food: Mandu, rabokki, and dolsot bibimbop

Mandu (fried dumplings), rabokki, and dolsot bibimbop

korean food: bibimbop

Bibimbop

Bulgogi

This is thinly sliced beef that has been grilled or marinated, and Matt thinks it tastes like Philly cheese steak. They serve it at our school’s a lot for lunch, or at some restaurants you can grill it on your table. But Matt’s favorite bulgogi is actually the bulgogi bake at the Costco here…laugh if you want, but it is pretty delicious, and that is coming from a reformed non-beef eater!

korean food: Bulgogi

Bulgogi

Mutually loved:

Ori

Our all time favorite, hands down, best thing about Korea is the duck. If you would have told me I would have said that before I came here, I would have laughed in your face. I was not an adventurous eater before, and duck was definitely something I considered “weird” and out of my comfort zone. But OMG is it good. The way duck is prepared here, it takes more like ham (which I don’t even eat…), and usually it’s smoked or baked. Our favorite duck place serves two courses: the first is a shabbu shabbu (hot pot soup) where you are given a plate of veggies, a bowl of noodles and a plate of what is essentially duck bacon to boil together in the pot. As if that weren’t already delicious enough, the second course is pumpkin duck, a platter of baked pumpkin slices topped with heaps of smoked duck and almonds. The pumpkin below absorbs the duck fat…and it is heaven in your mouth.

korean food: Duck shabbu shabbu

Duck shabbu shabbu

korean food: pumpkin duck

Pumpkin duck, the #1 reason you should come visit us in Korea.

We also really like duck bbq, which is your standard Korean bbq setup, but with duck meat. You just cook it on a grill at your table, wrap in lettuce or kimchi, dip in sauces, and enjoy!

korean food: Duck bbq

Duck bbq

Dalkgalbi Bokkeumbap

This is essentially just chicken fried rice, but it’s also spicy, and sometimes they throw some “cheese” (the cheese quality here is not good) on it, which actually tastes okay!

korean food: Dalkgalbi Bokkeumbap

Dalkgalbi Bokkeumbap

Korean cheese pizza

Korean pizza is just like Western pizza…except they put corn on it. It sounds disgusting, and the first time we had it we were so confused, and then after one piece each we were sold. Cheese and corn pizza is delicious!

korean pizza

Mmm…cheese and corn pizza.

Hotteok

This is street food–it’s a Korean pancake filled with brown sugar, honey, chopped peanuts, and cinnamon. It’s sold at street food carts everywhere, and costs only about 700 won (70 cents), so it’s perfect for satiating our sweet tooth cravings on the go!

Hotteok

“Homemade” hotteok, made by yours truly…from a box.

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19 Responses to “These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things…”

  1. Rachel March 27, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    I love hotteok! And have you tried potato pizza? I’m addicted. Where’s this pumpkin duck place? I heard that that existed and have wanted to try it ever since!

    • andreasherrodd March 27, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

      I’ve had potato pizza in Italy, but never here. The pumpkin duck place we like is in Gyeonggi-do Gwangju where we live, near the Emart. If you want to try it and feel like venturing to Gwangju, let me know and we can take you there!

      • Rachel March 27, 2012 at 12:57 pm #

        Sounds awesome! I will think of a good day and get in touch with you.

  2. Lori Finley March 27, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

    I’m glad you’re daring eaters. I can’t handle spicy foods and a very picky eater. I think I’d be on a good diet in Korea.

    • andreasherrodd March 27, 2012 at 2:39 pm #

      I love spicy food, but I am very picky about meats…so that has been a big adjustment for me!

  3. parisboy March 27, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    My favorite is Rabokki. It’s really delicious.

    • andreasherrodd March 28, 2012 at 3:55 pm #

      I know! I love it so much, I just crave it all the time. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it’s cheap!

  4. gallivance April 3, 2012 at 7:40 am #

    Great food post … I’m starving.

  5. tarrynharbour May 15, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    Great post. I adore dolsot bibimbap – Kimbap Heaven is one of my favourite places to eat here. I’m crazy about tuna kimbap too. Dakgalbi is absolutely my favourite Korean food – cheese-filled rice cakes CHANGED MY LIFE. We usually get that and the cheejuh bokkumbap after. YUM. I’ve yet to try the duck pumpkin but it sounds amazing!

    • andreasherrodd May 15, 2012 at 11:25 am #

      OMG, those cheese filled rice cakes are THE BEST. I wish they were more common!

  6. Fidel June 4, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    Aside from the bulgogi, I had never heard of any of these foods before. The Rabokki looks delicious though. I love Korean bbq pork and Korean cheese pancakes.

    • Andrea June 4, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

      You can get rabokki at gimbap restaurants (the Korean take on sushi) or at street food carts. What on earth are Korean cheese pancakes and why haven’t I had one?? Where did you buy those? I love cheese…

  7. Heathers Harmony June 27, 2012 at 6:46 am #

    Oh man! My mouth is watering now! I hope once I’m there we can meet up & go out for some duck!

    • Andrea June 27, 2012 at 9:18 am #

      Absolutely! Well, depending on when you arrive that is 🙂 You said October, do you know when in October? We’re leaving Korea about the third week of the month. If you’re here before then we’d love to meet up with you. This duck place is in our town, which is about an hour out of Seoul.

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